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Friday, October 26, 2007

Graduate research colloquium

This afternoon I am presenting at the annual Graduate Research Colloquium. It is put on each year by the USF Department of Anthropology in order to give grad students the opportunity to present research findings from their projects. It is a requirement and is in lieu of a final exam for Masters students. It's a quick ten-minute talk and PowerPoint show. I (like most students) know their own research inside and out so prep was minimal and I'm hardly nervous. Below is the title slide of my presentation and the abstract that appears in the program for the colloquium. You can view my entire slideshow on Google Docs (the image in the title slide is a preliminary map I made using GPS data I collected this summer).

Abstract
My research examines the spatial relationships among prehispanic and modern buildings, activity areas, and natural resources in the Palmarejo Valley in order to evaluate the applicability of the concept, "quebrada community," for understanding human-environmental relationships in this area during the Late Classic period (A.D.650-850). The goals of my research are: 1) to review the current debate surrounding prehistoric communities and the models used to explain them in order to frame the present research within that discussion, 2) to construct a geographic information system (GIS) which synthesizes existing archaeological and geological datasets with community-level spatial data, and 3) incorporate statistical and spatial analyses into a Cultural Site Analysis model to suggest ways in which prehistoric and contemporary communities were/are influenced by natural resources. A contextualized definition of "quebrada community" will contribute greatly to contemporary rural development initiatives designed to assist local farmers with more sustainable landscape management strategies.

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Posted by Will at October 26, 2007 09:36 AM in Graduate School